No, I’m not actually calling this the circle of trust, but you have to admit, it IS funny!

In Monday’s ridiculously long post, I introduced my project for 2012. It involves me, four online entrepreneurs/friends, you all, and a shit ton of action.

And after spending multiple hours writing, rewriting, and reading that post, I realized that I didn’t do a great job of explaining what this project entails. I’ll try my best to explain what this is all about and how it will work, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t know what’s going to happen or how this is going to unfold.

It was also brought to my attention (thanks Keshav) that I failed to mention what January’s topic will be about. It should be obvious, although it probably isn’t, but it’s about commitment and goals, with a strong emphasis on creating momentum and starting something and seeing it through..

But today’s post is about the other members of the Year Of The Grind and for now, I’ll call them “The Grinders“..

The Call

But before I get into that , I need to follow up on the story about my commitment to calling my long lost brother whom I hadn’t spoken with in over 6 years. Well, I did call him and initially left a message. And then a bunch of you emailed me or commented giving me shit and telling my to keep trying until I got through.

Well as it turns out, he called me back twice before I was able to reach him on Christmas day. The call was good. Exceptionally good. After the first few minutes of awkward “I haven’t heard your voice in 6 years” chit chat, we fell back into brother mode like we had been hanging out at the bars last night.

And as we shared updates about our lives like “your niece is in first grade and you’ve never met her” type of stuff, I told him straight up the real reason I called was not just to mend our relationship, but to apologize for all the years I was an asshole of a brother, a bully, and a mooch. I told him I wanted more than anything to work on our relationship because I want my daughters to know their uncle Mike and I want my brother back.

He was moved to tears by my gesture (and tears don’t come easy for him) and he forgave me although he said the apology was unnecessary. We ended up talking for 30 minutes or more and he had a chance to speak to my oldest daughter, Georgia.

We ended the call by agreeing to rebuild our broken brothership (new word) and actually discussed him flying out to see me and meet my girls. Yea, it was a great Christmas gift for us and all I can say is that if you have a loved one who you’ve had a falling out with, get over yourself, be the bigger person, and reach out to them. It’s that important…

And Now For The Introductions

As I mentioned on Monday, my year long project is not just about me and my life. It involves 4 other special individuals who have elected to share their time, stories, and life with all of us. They have recognized the opportunity to do something good in their lives and inspire others in the process.

After 14 months of blogging and almost 4,000 comments, I have met my fair share of people online. During that time, I’ve met some really incredible people and become friends with a number of them. When I first had the idea for this project and wanting to do it with others, I only had a few names in mind. These four were at the top of my list.

So here they are: meet The Grinders:

Tom Ewer from Tom is a recently self employed online entrepreneur and backs up his talk with action. He set his goal to quit his desk job, become a freelance writer, and he has done exactly that. But that’s not the reason I asked him to be a part of this.

I asked Tom because of interest he took in my story several months ago. I could always count on a insightful and heartfelt comment from him and we actually have quite a lot in common. I’ve really admired his honesty and am really looking forward to seeing the changes he’s going to bring on.

Ruth Zive from Ruth is a kick ass writer, a  mother to 5, and one of the most direct and genuine people I’ve met online. She also is all action and no bullshit.

I love her style and her blunt honesty and she quickly becoming a household name in the blogoshpere. And if you aren’t familiar with her work, you will be soon!

Ruth is another person who took an interest in my life and what I’m going through and after a few conversations with her, I realized that she is the real deal. I’m looking forward to her straight forward and direct approach to getting things done because uh…I kinda need it…

Shane Ketterman from (changing soon). Shane and I connected months ago and after talking a few times and realizing just how much in common we had. Our ideas, goals, and business plans were very similar and we even spoke of creating a product together.

The reason I wanted Shane to be a part of this is because of his interest in personal growth. He is a successful entrepreneur, certified life coach, and a thought leader in the industry. He’s also one hell of a nice guy…

Steve Rice from Steve and I first spoke after a comment he left on my blog which moved me. The first thing I thought was “this guy really cares”. Steve comes across to me as a deep and emotional guy with a big heart and a real desire to help people.

He is in touch with his spirituality, his emotions, and seems to be a genuinely happy person. Although he and I have very similar personalities, his mix of empathetic listening skills and and willingness to share his wisdom are very inspiring to me and I think he is a great fit for this project!

How Is This Going To Work?

I have chosen 12 areas of life that have been neglected over the years (even fitness and yes I’m a trainer!) and have decided to take significant action on improving one each month. I’m still tweaking them a bit and may change one or more as time passes but here they are:

  1. January: Commitment/Action/Goals
  2. February: Job/Business
  3. March: Health/Wellness
  4. April: Appreciation
  5. May: Slowing Down
  6. June: Family/Friends
  7. July: Personal Finance
  8. August: Knowledge Base
  9. September: Comfort Zone Challenges
  10. October: Spirituality
  11. November: Charity
  12. December: Forgiveness

Naturally, not everyone wants to work on all the same areas of their life and so I’ve made these topics fairly broad with the idea that all 5 of us could find something to improve in that area.

And although we will all be working under that same umbrella of topics, we all will have our individual goals (duh) which to work on throughout the year. Those will be posted here within the next post or two.

My Idea For All Of This

When I decided to include a small group of people in which to share this experience, I had in mind a tight knit group of friends/peers who could hold each other accountable and call each other out on each others bullshit. I’ve selected these people in particular because of who they are as people, not who they are as online entrepreneurs.

I feel like this year long journey is going to work much better if we all are in the same mindset of “let’s make great things happen” and initially, it’s been great. Back in January I started a mastermind group and while it involved some really sharp people, it was not as effective as it could have been.

And this is why:

  1. Although friendly, we weren’t necessarily friends
  2. We we not comfortable enough around each other to offer truly honest feedback, which is vital
  3. We never developed a sense of team. We all went our separate ways after our calls and rarely spoke or interacted otherwise.

That’s where this group will be different and if you are considering putting together a mastermind or the like, I would strongly suggest you find the right people and make sure you can hold each other to their word.

This Is An Open Forum

I think this project will work best if it’s allowed to evolve naturally and grow with time and with interest. I love the idea of anyone being able to contribute to this experience, add their own goals, and become part of what we are doing.

I need you all to be open and honest in your feedback and I need you to share your thoughts in the comments section. I am also very open to ideas that anyone has about how to really tie this all together, bring a more personal feel to it, or ways to get more people involved.

Like I said, this is an open forum for thoughts and actions and I don’t need you commenting telling me that I’m doing great things here. I need you to comment telling me what great things you are doing.

So tell me, How do YOU want to be involved with this?

Until Friday…

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